Nas Celebrates Prodigy & Queens On A Stellar Pete Rock Track (Audio)
Life is too short to listen to bad music. So…let Ambrosia For Heads fight through it for you and only supply you with that great stuff. Despite the reports, Hip-Hop is alive and well and, in many ways, is better than it’s ever been. Not only are we able to go back and listen to all of our favorites, at the click of a button, there is also a ton of great music still being made by artists, young and veteran alike…if you know where to look. To help with that task, we’ve created a playlists with recent music—songs that have been released within the last year or so. We update it regularly, so, if you like what you hear, subscribe to follow us on Spotify.
Nas has delivered The Lost Tapes 2. Nearly seventeen years after his fan-lauded first installment, the MC follows with another collection of session songs. His label, Def Jam, previously confirmed that the songs belong to sessions from 2006’s Hip Hop Is Dead, 2008’s Untitled, 2011’s Grammy-nominated Life Is Good, and last year’s NASIR. Included in the 16 songs are tracks produced by Pete Rock, RZA, Alchemist, No I.D., Statik Selektah, DJ Toomp, and Kanye West, among others.
For fans of Illmatic, the Nas and Pete Rock’s reunion is significant. The legend who laid the beat to “The World Of Yours” is responsible for “The Art Of It” and “QueensBridge Politics.” The latter song sees Nas address the rift that transpired with Mobb Deep’s Prodigy, and the passing of his onetime friend and collaborator. A narrative track in the vain of his “U.B.R. (Unauthorized Biography Of Rakim),” it expands to detail the complicated history in the QB.
After touching on Marley Marl and Roxanne Shanté, Nas speaks to P. “I wish the ‘book never came out / And everything got straightened out / Before you left, I saw you, it was all love / Except we needed to build more and get things correct / Now I gotta accept it, ’cause there’s honor in death / Wish you was here with us, P.” He is referring to the MC’s 2011 text, My Infamous Life. Moments before, he raps, “Marley was changing Hip-Hop / Then Marley and Shanté caught a body, U.T.F.O / She cold, ‘Roxanne’s Revenge,’ she was 14 years old / Then came the Juice Crew and the who’s whos / G Rap, Rakim and Kane, beats made in the QU / I was probably playing with .32s in the lobby / It’s Queensbridge over everything and everybody.” Nas is referencing Roxanne’s breakout ambush of the Brooklyn collective, as well as Marley’s House Of Hits and Power Play Studios being in Queens. He also addresses Prodigy’s mural being repeatedly vandalized after his death due to complicated hood politics. Nas shouts out Havoc, Capone, The Goodfellas, and his brother, Jungle.
Five years before his 2017 death, Prodigy told Vlad TV, “It wasn’t really no ‘beef,'” responding to an interviewer’s question. “The thing with Nas that happened is, the dudes that Nas hangs out with from Queensbridge—a couple of the dudes that he hangs out with—they don’t like me, because I’m not from the projects.” While Havoc had QB ties, Prodigy was originally from Hempstead, Long Island. Together, Mobb Deep represented for the same area that Nas, Cormega, and others did. “I’m out there, active, representing the projects—shooting movies, videos, and doing all these songs. A few of the guys that Nas grew up with that was locked up during the time of my success, they came home feelin’ like, ‘This ni**a ain’t from the hood.'” P noted that he did not deserve that treatment, and admitted to supporting the area and its budding rappers. “I can’t even really be mad at Nas, ’cause this is people he grew up with. So I just had to distance myself from them. ‘Cause he’s standing next to somebody that’s threatening my life. I know Nas; he don’t feel that way about me.” P added that some of his associates added to the chasm, given their dislike of the Rap star.
Pete Rock’s other contribution to Lost Tapes 2, “The Art Of It,” freaks the same source Naughty By Nature used on “Uptown Anthem.” Meanwhile, album closer, the No I.D.-produced “Beautiful Life,” addresses the ongoing details of his child support battle, and some headlines involving several of his exes. The hook suggests this was a Life Is Good carryover.
In addition to new music from Nas, the official AFH playlist includes songs from Pete Rock’s recent instrumental album (Return Of The SP1200), as well as tracks from Big K.R.I.T., J. Cole, Freddie Gibbs & Madlib, Duckwrth, Joyner Lucas, Anderson .Paak & André 3000, Billy Danze, Tobe Nwigwe, Aaron May, 2 Chainz, Ghostface Killah, Casey Veggies, Westside Gunn, Boogie, Erick Sermon, Eminem, Pharoahe Monch, Denzel Curry, GoldLink, Benny The Butcher, Lute, Atmosphere, Masta Ace & Marco Polo, Apollo Brown & Joell Ortiz, Drake, Omen, AZ, Wu-Tang Clan, Evidence, and others.